Just Enjoy It: 2015 Pacific Crest Half Marathon Race Review

by Jodi

Eight years ago, I ran my first half marathon.  I had never run more than 6 consecutive miles in my life before but I am stupidly determined at times.  The satisfaction of crossing the finish line knowing I ran EVERY step carried me into an entirely new lifestyle.  I ran a marathon three months later and haven't stopped running since.
So good to be back!
On June 27th, I came back to Sunriver, Oregon, and ran the Pacific Crest half marathon course again. Three years had passed since we'd been back to the event and I was feeling sentimental. It's good to pause for a minute and reflect.  This race literally changed my life and I was thrilled to be back on the course.  I even got to volunteer at the T-shirt table before the race.
6:00 a.m. T-shirt Table Selfie
Normally I don't pay to run a race unless I've put in the time to train for it, but this race was different.   I have been running shorter, slower distances since the marathon in the middle of May with no speed work.  I knew the distance wouldn't be a problem, but covering it quickly at race pace would be tricky, since the course is at 4,200 feet elevation and the forecast called for temps in the high 90's. Given my current fitness level, I thought I could cover the distance somewhere in the 1:38 to 1:42 range, but I was really hoping to be sub 1:40.

I warmed up before the race with Paula and Amanda - new friends I've made this year.  We have logged a lot of miles together in the past few months and it sure is fun to race with them.
Pre-race selfie with Amanda and Paula
My first mile was a 7:35 and I worked WAY too hard for it.  I didn't feel like suffering so I slowed down.  Too much.  Then sped up.  Slowed down.  Thought way too much about my time.  Second guessed myself.  And basically spent the ENTIRE race thinking way too much and not enjoying it enough.

I never found a good rhythm or flow.  My breathing was labored.  Every step felt hard and slow.  Just about the time I was going to give myself permission to stop racing and just run, my buddy Paula - who was going to "just jog the course" - flew by me. She was clearly racing and I knew if I wanted to hang with her I'd have to catch up.  I never did catch her, but she motivated me to chase her the last seven miles.  I couldn't find a steady pace but she never wavered, consistently knocking out a 7:45 pace mile after mile.  It was inspiring.

In the end, I finished in 1:42:45, a 7:50 pace.  I worked my butt off for my slowest half marathon finish time in almost two years.  It was humbling, in a good way.  I walked away from the race knowing I gave everything I had on that day.  And that was my goal: run hard and enjoy the process.

Post-race photos with our GIANT medals.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't initially disappointed, but I got over it.  In the grand scheme of life, my finish time is completely irrelevant.  I am thrilled that I have health and life and can run for miles in beautiful places.  I am so grateful.

Thank you Pacific Crest for another fun race weekend.  Happy running Friends.

By the Splits (1:42:45 - 7:50 average pace)
Mile 1: 7:35
Mile 2: 7:44
Mile 3: 7:50
Mile 4: 8:09
Mile 5: 7:35
Mile 6: 8:05
Mile 7: 7:52
Mile 8: 7:44
Mile 9: 7:42
Mile 10: 7:56
Mile 11: 8:03
Mile 12: 7:38
Mile 13: 8:01
Mile 13.1: .43

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